About this Research Topic
Water scarcity is one of the major drawbacks mankind is facing nowadays. This is leading to the real need of facing wastewater as a source of reusable water. Moreover, these streams constitute indirect potable water sources when are discharged to the natural resources. Thus, the precautionary principle imposes that the treated effluents must be safe for both ecosystems and human health. In fact, even if current wastewater treatment processes can fulfil discharge thresholds, the detection of trace compounds (mainly pharmaceutical and personal care products) in the treated streams may be a dangerous threat. These compounds show refractory characteristics and are not suitably removed by the conventional treatment technologies. Although found in trace levels, their real impact over human health is not totally known. Moreover, their accumulation capacity and biorefractory features are leading to their appearance even in drinking water. Bearing these concerns in mind, the European Commission listed several chemical contaminants whose concentration in natural water resources must be followed by the state members. Another important issue is related with biological contamination (bacteria, virus and protozoa) since recent studies reveal that high loads of pathogens are being released from municipal wastewater treatment plants directly to the natural streams.
The release of micropollutants of emerging concern in WWTPs is currently not regulated anywhere in the world. Therefore, new quality standards for environmental harmful subsidies such as pharmaceuticals, antibiotic resistant bacteria, endocrine disrupters could be expected in a revised “Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive”. To achieve that goal after secondary treatment (activated sludge systems/membrane biological reactors), membrane processes or advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) must be employed as tertiary treatment. This will imply the development of advanced technologies able to lead to safe treated water at the lowest cost. Advanced separation, oxidation and biological processes are most likely the key for this issue. This concern is also important regarding industrial wastewater treatment that must encompass the integration of technologies taking advantage of their synergies. Only this way treated wastewater with quality to be directed to municipal wastewater treatment plants or discharged to the natural courses can be achieved.
The application of reliable techno-economic and environmental tools on the evaluation of the proposed technological solutions is essential so that the most suitable solutions are reached. These must bear in mind the potential toxic effect and human health impact of treated water.
Thus, water and wastewater treatment aiming water reuse is a challenge scientific area and researchers must focus their efforts on the development of suitable technologies to fulfil present and future water problems.
This Research Topic aims to gather studies regarding the development, optimization and pilot/real scale applications of advanced treatment processes aiming industrial/municipals wastewater treatment with eyes put in water reuse.
To be suitable for Frontiers in Chemistry, the manuscript must focus on chemical synthesis, design and/or characterization, and must have clear relevance to the chosen section: Green and Sustainable Chemistry; Catalysis and Photocatalysis.
To be suitable for Environmental Materials, the manuscript must cover all aspects of environmental degradation of materials, including corrosion and degradation, as well as the development of coating technologies.
Keywords: Advanced oxidation processes, Treatment processes integration, Water reuse, Environmental impact assessment, Materials functionalization
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.